Vidalia boat ramp open 80 feet longer

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After a month of construction, the Vidalia landing boat ramp located on the riverfront has reopened to the public with an additional 80 feet of length.

The boat ramp closed in late June when the river level at Natchez was at 13.9 feet.

Vidalia Street Department Director Lee Staggs said when the city initially built the ramp, approximately six years ago, the river levels were too high to extend the ramp to its ideal length.

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The city took advantage of low river levels in May and June to begin extending the boat ramp an additional 60 feet.

As the river levels continued dropping in July, Staggs said the city decided to extend the boat ramp an additional 20 feet.

With the river rising to 12 feet this week, Staggs said the city decided to wrap up construction and reopen the boat ramp — at least for the time being.

“If the river goes down again, we might look at extending it further,” Staggs said. “It’s not on the table right now, but you never know.”

The National Weather Service extended forecast predicts the river falling to 9 feet on Saturday and continuing to fall to 8 feet by the end of August.